Constitutional Law, Remedial Law

Alva vs. CA G.R. No. 157331 April 12, 2006 Bail

 

 FACTS:

Arnold Alva was accused of defrauding YUMI VERANGA HERVERA by means of false manifestation and fraudulent representation to the effect that he could process the latter’s application for U.S. Visa provided she would give the amount of P120,000.00, and by means of other similar deceit, induced and succeeded in inducing said YUMI VERANGA y HERVERA to give and deliver, as in fact she gave and delivered to said accused the amount of P120,000.00 on the strength of said manifestation and representation said accused well knowing that the same were false and untrue for the reason that the U.S. Visa is not genuine and were made solely to obtain, as in fact he did obtain the amount of P120,000.00 which amount once in his possession with intent to defraud, he wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously misappropriated, misapplied and converted the said amount to his own personal use and benefit, to the damage and prejudice of the said YUMI VERANGA HERVERA in the aforesaid amount of P120,000.00, Philippine Currency.

Petitioner was charged of the crime of estafa.

 

ISSUE:

Having jumped bail and eluded arrest until the present, has the accused lost his right to appeal his conviction?

 

RULING:

Yes. Under Sec. 8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court: Dismissal of appeal for abandonment or failure to prosecute. – The appellate court may, upon motion of the appellee or its own motion and notice to the appellant, dismiss the appeal if the appellant fails to file his brief within the time prescribed by this Rule, except in case the appellant is represented by a counsel de oficio.

The court may also, upon motion of the appellee or on its own motion, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes from prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal.

The act of jumping bail will result in the outright dismissal of petitioner’s appeal. As pointed out by the Court in the case of People v. Mapalao, the reason for said rule is that: “once an accused escapes from prison or confinement or jumps bail or flees to a foreign country, he losses his standing in court and unless he surrenders or submits to the jurisdiction of the court he is deemed to have waived any right to seek relief from the court.”

Thus, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in dismissing petitioner’s appeal. Within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure, petitioner impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby made the judgment of the RTC final and executory.

By putting himself beyond the reach and application of the legal processes of the land, petitioner revealed his contempt of the law and placed himself in a position to speculate at his pleasure his chances for a reversal. This, we cannot condone. Once more, by jumping bail, petitioner has waived his right to appeal. In the case of People v. Ang Gioc, the court enunciated that:”There are certain fundamental rights which cannot be waived even by the accused himself, but the right of appeal is not one of them. This right is granted solely for the benefit of the accused. He may avail of it or not, as he pleases. He may waive it either expressly or by implication. When the accused flees after the case has been submitted to the court for decision, he will be deemed to have waived his right to appeal from the judgment rendered against him.”

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